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The Cure for the Common Password

Jason Sattler

18.09.18 3 min. read

There are two words experts continually use to describe the kind of passwords we all need to secure our information online — strong and unique.

Passwords must be strong because if they’re short, simple, they’re way too easy for hackers to guess. And they must be unique because even if you have the world’s strongest password it could be leaked in a data breach and that could give criminals access to every account that uses that same password.

This advice has been around for years if not decades but the most commonly used passwords in the world are still ‘123456’, ‘password’, ‘123456789’, ‘12345678’, ‘12345’ and ‘qwerty’, according to independent research from Ben Berkowitz of MWR Infosecurity, which was acquired by F-Secure in May 2018.

People use words from the dictionary, the same number typed five or six times and they’ll use almost anything that is easy to remember and type. And they usually do this for a simple reason.

“There’s just too many for people to remember,” F-Secure Security Consultant Jan Wikholm explained on the latest episode of our Cyber Sauna podcast.

Most adults have dozens if not hundreds of online accounts. And on an average day, you probably log in to at least a half-dozen sites, which you don’t even notice you’re logging into because the site keeps you logged in as long as you use the same browser or app on the same device.

Getting in the habit of using unique, strong passwords often requires breaking habits most of have been using much of our lives. That’s why many experts have advised moving to password manager, which make creating and using strong and unique passwords for all of your accounts easy.

F-Secure TOTAL is now taking this advice to heart and including the premium version of F-Secure KEY our password manager along with internet security, a virtual private network and connected home protection.

“KEY makes it easy to use unique, strong passwords on every account, and keep those up-to-date in all of the devices you carry,” says F-Secure’s Antero Norkio. “Best of all, KEY proactively notifies you on major data breaches rather than you finding out about them later, if at all.”

Even if you practice the best cyber security in the world, you’re relying on other people to secure your passwords. We’ve learned over the past few years as billions of credentials have been released online, that it’s not a matter if one of your passwords will be leaked, but when.

“Don’t count on your brain to manage your passwords,” Sean Sullivan, F-Secure Security Advisor, said.

He notes that KEY gives you access to all of your unique, strong passwords on all of your devices secured by TOTAL so you’re protected no matter where you connect.

We can’t fix the world’s bad password habits overnight. But if you start using a password manager like KEY today, you’ll never have to be embarrassed when you see a list of the world’s most popular passwords again.

Jason Sattler

18.09.18 3 min. read


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